3. Referencing

What is referencing?

If you use the ideas or works of others in your assignments you must state that you have used them. Referencing is acknowledging the authors and resources you have used. Anyone reading your assignment can access or check those resources, if you have referenced them. Not only is referencing a polite way of acknowledging the work of others you have used in your assignment, it is also an academic requirement. If you use someone’s work or ideas in your assignment and do not acknowledge that you have done so, you will have committed plagiarism.

Video icon  Introduction to referencing (YouTube, 3m43s)

What is a referencing style?

A referencing style is a set of rules telling you how to acknowledge the thoughts, ideas and works of others in a particular way. It is a crucial part of successful academic writing. There are a number of different referencing styles used at UQ. Check your course profile, or ask your tutor or course coordinator, if you are unsure about which style to use.

ChatGPT and other AI tools

Our ChatGPT and other generative AI tools referencing guide has an overview of how to cite or acknowledge generative AI tools in your assignments.

Citing code and data

Get information on:

Quick online referencing tools

  • Library Search record will show the citation for a few styles (e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA) that you can copy
  • ZoteroBib helps you build a bibliography from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software

Referencing software

You may find referencing software, such as EndNote, useful. Referencing software allows you to create your own library of references you have read for assignments. You can store references for books, journal articles, podcasts and websites. Then, using the referencing software, place in-text citations into your assignment and generate automatic bibliographies.

Sometimes references are not imported into your software library correctly. While referencing software can help manage and insert references, you will still need to know the rules of your chosen style. You should check every reference that you download to make sure the citation is correct.

Decorative Check your knowledge

This table gives a quick overview of three popular referencing management software tools:

Referencing management software EndNote Zotero Mendeley
Costs Free to UQ staff and students if downloaded via UQ Free account available with some storage. A subscription is required for more storage. Free account available with some storage.
Access Desktop software but does have an online version – EndNote Basic Desktop software with a browser add on for Chrome, Safari and Firefox Desktop software but can be synchronised with an online account
Work offline Yes Yes Yes
Accessibility Accessible to screen readers
(ADA compliant)
Accessible to screen readers May not be accessible to screen readers
Edit/annotate PDFs Yes No but Zotero will open your default PDF viewer to allow you to annotate the file.
Zotero Tutorial: Working with PDFs (YouTube, 11m57s)
Share citations Yes – with other EndNote users via EndNote sync and Library sharing Yes

Strengths Supported by UQ Library with help guides available.
Output styles can be customised, allows for unlimited number of references and attachment storage, has thousands of referencing styles already in the software.
Easy to learn and use.
Zotero online support guides for training and troubleshooting
Has a Chrome extension and is easy to use across a number of devices.
Good online support guides for training and troubleshooting

EndNote referencing software

EndNote is freely available to current UQ students and staff. Learn how to use EndNote with our online tutorials or check our using EndNote information before you start using the software. Visit EndNote referencing software if you want to know more about other referencing management software options.

What do you use!

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